STANLEY stalwart Paul Mullin says tomorrow’s encounter at Bournemouth is much bigger than the last time the two sides clashed on the south coast.

That was in 2003 when non league Stanley visited the then Second Division side and drew 1-1 in a prestigious FA Cup match.

Five years later and the Reds go to Dean Court on a level footing knowing a win is important with cash-strapped Bournemouth, who started the season with minus 17 points and survived a winding up order this week, struggling in League Two and for their existence.

Stanley, in 18th place, need the three points to put some breathing space between them and the relegation spots.

"It was a great occasion going there in the FA Cup," said the star striker, who scored the opening goal against the Cherries five years ago.

"That was a big experience for us. We had no pressure and they were an established league side. I remember being nervous before the game and we had a really good following with a number of coaches going from Accrington.

"Tomorrow, though, is a different kettle of fish. We go there needing a win and they are desperate to win as well so both sides will be under pressure.

"It has been a frustrating season as I think we have deserved more than we have got out of our last few games but results just haven’t gone our way.

"We should have won against Brentford on Tuesday but ended up drawing 1-1 and we need to start picking up more wins."

Stanley are struggling on their travels - they have just two away wins out of their 15 games and the last one came at Luton in October. They also only have two wins home and away in the last 13 games.

"I don’t know why that is as we haven’t been playing badly," continued Mullin, who is the only Stanley player in contract at the end of this season.

"It is a bit of a freak league this season with the three teams having points deducted. A team will need a lot less points than in previous years to stay up but we don’t just want to get to a certain point, say we are safe and stop there.

"We want to finish as high up as possible for our own pride and to prepare for next season. It has been a hard season in terms of injuries but they are clearing up now so hopefully we can kick on."

Mullin still leads the scoring charts at the FES with eight goals this season. But hot on his heels is Jimmy Ryan with seven.

"Every year someone says they are going to get more goals than me - some day someone will but there is still a few goals left in me yet!

"But Jimmy has been superb for us. He has a fantastic shot and great technique and he has grown for us as a player as the season has gone on. He is a big player for us and he works really hard.

"I will do my best though to make sure he doesn’t catch me!"

Midfielder Andy Procter is hoping to be fit for the trip tomorrow after having an injection in his Achilles. He and Chris King (thigh) missed the Brentford clash.


* STANLEY loan striker Craig Lindfield, from Liverpool, should know all about the Cherries - he spent from August until December on loan with them this season but didn’t get much of a chance.
* EIGHT Stanley fans will be on Soccer AM tomorrow morning on Sky One (9am).